Exploring Local Superstitions and Beliefs in Singapore: A Guide for New Expats

Exploring Local Superstitions and Beliefs in Singapore: A Guide for New Expats

Many regional superstitions and beliefs are alive and well in Singapore's vibrant fusion of cultures, carrying the weight of decades. For newcomers, understanding and respecting these cultural distinctions is essential to integrating and establishing relationships. This article will look into the unique superstitious customs and beliefs that coexist peacefully in Singapore across a wide range of cultural origins.


Lunar New Year customs in China

In Singapore's Chinese community, ringing in the new year with auspicious customs is very important. Before the New Year, cleaning the house is thought to wash away bad luck, and putting oranges on display is thought to bring good fortune. Giving "hongbao" (red packets containing money) is a custom that is believed to bring good fortune and benefits. (Chong, 2017)

Malay "Pantang" Traditions

In order to ward off disaster and bad luck, the Malay community adheres to certain "pantang" or taboos. For example, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid attending funerals in order to protect the unborn child. Additionally, traditional healers known as "bomoh" who combine spiritual beliefs with realistic answers are consulted for a variety of issues. (Hashim, 2019)

Rituals and Beliefs of the Indian Community

The Indian community retains customs like lighting oil lamps to fend off evil and encourage good. Astrology, also known as "jyotish," is a discipline that has a strong influence on important life decisions including marriage and occupation. Using talismans and rituals, the "evil eye," also known as "nazar," is protected from. (Sharma, 2018)

Feng Shui in Housing

The layout and design of homes and companies in Singapore are heavily influenced by Feng Shui, an antiquated Chinese concept. It is believed that ideas like yin and yang energy balance and selecting auspicious directions will bring wealth and harmony. (Yap, 2014)

Peranakan Beliefs

The Peranakan population, a blend of Chinese and Malay cultures, has customs such as refraining from singing at night to ward off ill luck and not pointing at the moon to avoid cutting one's ear. Additionally, their exquisite ceramics and beading have significant meanings. (Cheong, 2020)

Respect for Spirits

Numerous cultures in Singapore uphold a veneration for ghosts and ancestors, including those of the Chinese, Malay, and Indian descent. During numerous ceremonies and festivals, offerings of food, incense, and other things are made to please and respect these beings. (Ho, 2015)

Number taboos

Various cultures have various interpretations of which numbers are unlucky. Consider the number 4, which is frequently avoided because it has the same pronunciation as the word for "death" in Chinese. In contrast, because of its phonetic closeness to the word "wealth," the number 8 is connected to prosperity. (Tan, 2018)



A doorway to Singapore's rich cultural landscape is opening up to and accepting local superstitions and beliefs.

In addition to putting a significant emphasis on teaching cultural context,we also help foreigners traverse the complex intricacies of Singaporean society.



Chong, N. (2017). Chinese New Year traditions and taboos in Singapore. Culture Trip.

Hashim, N. (2019). Pantang: Understanding Malay Cultural Beliefs and Superstitions. The Finder.

Sharma, A. (2018). Understanding Indian Superstitions and Beliefs. Singapore n Beyond.

Yap, J. (2014). Feng Shui in Singapore. The Finder.

Cheong, R. (2020). The Fascinating Superstitions of Peranakan Culture. Culture Trip.

Ho, E. (2015). Spiritual Practices in Singapore. The Straits Times.

Tan, K. (2018). The Power of Numbers: Numerology in Chinese Culture. The Finder.